So far, our series of blogs on selling value outcomes has provided tips for embedding an outcomes-based culture in your sales team and performing good discovery. This article focuses on the solution and proposal phase of the sales cycle.
This stage in the sales process is crucial for selling value outcomes. It’s when you take the business challenges and KPIs uncovered during discovery and start using them to shape your solution offering.
Each blog in this series focuses on a different stage of the sales process.
- Read the introduction article
- Read the solution and proposal article
- Download the free kit of assets to make Value Selling easy
Common Challenges that Prevent Value Selling in the Solution and Proposal Phase
Some common challenges that prevent salespeople from consistently and effectively selling value outcomes include:
- Salespeople prefer to discuss features because it’s easier than connecting with the customer on value. Discovering KPIs, ROI and calculating cost-benefit are perceived as complex and time-consuming.
- Salespeople struggle to get the right engagement with prospects that allows them to build a credible value case.
Because of this, they never uncover the customer’s Success Outcomes and so can’t connect them to their solution. This leads them to present harbour tour demos and generic proposals that overwhelm the prospect and don’t address their challenges—which means the sale is less likely.
Failing to get these things right affects the overall success of the sales team, including its:
- Sales cycle length
- Win rate
- Deal size
Tip 1: Link Outcomes to Drive Better Demos and Solution Scoping
Basing demos on success outcomes will make them more relevant and useful to prospects and, therefore, more effective.
- Try to avoid presenting anything more than an initial visual demo if you haven’t yet documented the prospect’s success outcomes.
- Good demos show how your solution will solve the specific business challenges and KPIs uncovered during discovery.
- It’s important for the salesperson to pass on a record of these outcomes if the demo is being presented by someone else.
Demos are a high impact stage of the sales process—people get to see the solution in action which helps them understand how it can achieve their success outcomes. This makes it easier for you to get multiple stakeholders together at once. This makes it a great opportunity to guide consensus and test fit.
It’s also critical to align solution proposals and pricing with value outcomes. The business challenges and KPIs that your salespeople uncover will indicate which features and functions your prospect needs most. This will help influence pricing decisions.
Tip 2: Empower your Mobiliser to Drive Consensus
To align on success outcomes and reach buyer consensus, it is vital that during the discovery phase sellers and customers are empowered to define success outcomes and build value assessments collaboratively—rather than the seller leading the customer.
To be successful the salesperson needs to align with as many stakeholders as possible. But it can be difficult to know which other stakeholders you need to speak to and how to access them.
Prospect mobilisers (or champions or coaches) have access to people across their business. Encourage your mobiliser to take ownership of their value outcomes discovery record. They will help drive consensus by:
- Helping stakeholders make sense of the capabilities they need to evaluate
- Getting input from hidden or inaccessible stakeholders
The best mobiliser isn’t necessarily the person holding the budget or making decisions. It is often the person most willing to:
- Drive change
- Build consensus
Tip 3: Use Your Methodology as a Differentiator, and Your CVM Platform as Evidence
Many salespeople can explain how their solution provides value for customers. However, they find it harder to articulate their value versus competitors. If all companies claim to deliver lots of value, how can the buyer tell them apart?
A good solution is to use your Success Outcomes methodology as a differentiator. In other words, quantify value and link it to your solution as you normally would, but also highlight that your discovery process adds value by helping the prospect:
- Align their solution requirements with business challenges
- Make sense of confusing capabilities
- Learn about new improvement opportunities
This creates a better buying experience and makes prospects more likely to want to work with you.
Another solution is to use your customer value management (CVM) platform as evidence of your commitment to success outcomes. It shows that you don’t just talk the talk; you’ve invested in a digital platform that supports:
- Internal and external collaboration on success outcomes
- An outcomes-based culture throughout your organisation
Get More Tips for Selling on Value Outcomes
If you’ve enjoyed this series of blogs providing top tips for selling on value outcomes, then download our Make-it-Easy Value Selling Kit. You can also read our article on transforming to an outcomes-based culture.
If you’d like to learn more about how we help B2B subscription-based companies to realise an outcomes-based culture, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Contact us at email@example.com